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The HP Mini 311 is the first netbook in the U.S. equipped with Nvidia's GeForce 9400M (MCP79) chipset. In the case of the Mini 311, this is the nVidia Ion LE GPU chipset without DirectX 10 support.
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|Name||HP Mini 311-1000|
|Processor||Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU N280 @ 1.66GHz|
|Screen||11.6”, 29.5 cm, 1366×768 pixels|
|RAM||1GB + empty slot for up to 2GB additional DDR3 1066hz PC3 SODIMM RAM|
|HDD||160 GB (nominal) 149 GB (actual formatted) SATA|
|Optical Drive||HP LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW Double Layer (external USB 2.0)|
|Graphics||nVidia 9400M Ion LE|
|Network||Realtek10/100 Ethernet, Broadcomm 4322AGN 802.11abgn Wifi-Bluetooth combo-card|
|Ubuntu Linux 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope”||Comments: 32-bit i386 Live CD/GUI installation|
|Linux Kernel Version||2.6.28-15-generic #52-Ubuntu SMP Wed Sep 9 10:49:34 UTC 2009 i686 GNU/Linux|
|HDD||Yes||Could not partition the HDD from the Jaunty Alternate (non-GUI) Installation CD - No major issues with standard 32-bit i386 live-CD installation partioning the drive and setting up GRUB for dual boot with XP|
|Optical Drive||Yes||If installing from a CD in the external optical media drive, booting from the CD must be enabled by pressing “esc” immediately after start and choosing “f9 - boot device options”. The external drive should show up in the boot device list if it is plugged into the USB port prior to boot.|
|Graphics||Yes||Open source drivers work for 2D. Proprietary nVidia accelerated graphics driver (version 180) works. Compiz and GLX work.|
|Video Out||Not tested||Equipped with HDMI and VGA out connectors - video out not yet tested in Linux|
|Sound||Partial||Sound card was not properly ID'd during the install. Sound initially only worked through the headphone jack - no sound was sent to the laptop speakers. Sound was fixed by upgrading Alsa to version 1.0.21 <http://monespaceperso.org/blog-en/2009/08/31/upgrade-alsa-1-0-21-on-ubuntu-jaunty-9-04/>|
|Wireless||No||Broadcomm wireless 4322AGN 802.11abgn card was not ID'd during the install. Wireless was fixed by enabling the jaunty-backports repository and installing the linux-backports-modules-jaunty package and the linux-restricted-modules package. The Broadcomm card was then ID'd and a proprietary driver was installed. The card works reliably in WICD. Connections seem slower and less reliable in Netmanager|
|Card Reader||Yes||Tested with 8GB SDHC - no issues|
|Camera||Yes||Tested in Skype - some stutter and dropped frames noticed on the receiving end|
|Suspend/Resume/Hibernate||No||Suspend can be initiated by closing the lid or or the HP fn+f2 hotkey, but gives a “btusb_bulk_complete failed to resubmit” message and immediately resumes. Similar issues occured with hibernate. Suspend does not appear to be successfully powering down bluetooth and this appears to trigger resume. A temporary workaround was found by using the the hardware switch on the HP Mini 311 to shut down wifi and bluetooth prior to suspending. This allows a successful suspend operation. Resume occurs normally upon opening the screen and the wifi/bluetooth hardware can then be turned on using the harware switch either during the resume or after authenticating.|
The GPU still uses shared RAM. Using “extra” visual effects can quickly result in 40 - 50% RAM usage. The standard configurations of the HP Mini 311 shipping to the U.S. have an empty SODIMM slot available for additional RAM. Anyone purchasing this netbook with the intention of doing fairly graphically intensive operations should consider upgrading the RAM.
The computer is in daily use with Ubuntu 9.04. I have not booted into XP since coming up with a workable solution for suspend resume. The suspend/resume issue seems to be shared with other HP/Compaq and Dell notebook and netbook computers. Hopefully this will be solved in upcoming Ubuntu releases. I am only getting 4-5 hours of battery life - perhaps the price to pay for the improved graphics performance.
Update: Suspend/resume has been fixed in Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala”. The Broadcomm proprietary driver does not support “N” speeds in either Jaunty or Karmic.
2nd update: I have now proceeded through an additional version upgrade to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. Suspend/resume work fine. Trackpad is not recognized by Synaptics but basic support is there (movement, edge scroll, tap-click) via the PS/2 driver. Hopefully this will eventually get fixed in Synaptics since the more advanced Synaptics trackpad configuration features aren't available for now. This was apparently the case since my original Ubuntu 9.04 load - I just didn't notice it since I had basic trackpad functionality. Ubuntu LTS on the Mini 311 is now my primary computer for business travel.